Research grants of $1,500, $3,000 and $5,000 are available subject to certain conditions. Grants are available for conservation work or research that has an intended conservation benefit. An analysis of the award scheme was published in a recent article in Neotropical Birding which can be read here.
Applications are assessed twice yearly, with deadlines on 1st January and 1st July. An initial assessment is made by a conservation sub-committee and sent for peer-review and the applications that best match the aims of the programme then have to be approved by the Council of the Neotropical Bird Club. You will be informed of the outcome of your application as soon as possible thereafter (usually within 1 month of the application deadline).
Awards are only given to projects carried out by nationals and/or residents of countries in the Neotropics (i.e. the Caribbean, Central America and South America). Additionally, applicants are advised that, other than in exceptional cases, awards will only be given to projects that meet all of the following criteria:
- Projects with a total budget small enough for the NBC award to be a significant proportion of that total.
- Projects that are likely to achieve constructive local engagement in some form, such as environmental education in local communities, working with local decision-making or land-management organisations, or local/international publicity.
- Projects that are likely to achieve global conservation benefit. This means that the project must target either globally threatened species or globally important sites, as defined below, in order to be eligible for funding, unless there is an exceptional reason to waive this rule (e.g. species new to science). It is essential that your project makes a direct contribution to species or site conservation, or as a minimum is developed in close collaboration with a conservation agency or organisation. We do not fund projects that lack a strong conservation focus, e.g. pure avian biology research. Environmental education projects that encourage the conservation of threatened species or globally important sites are eligible.
- Globally threatened species — those on the IUCN’s global red list — are defined and appear on the website www.birdlife.org/datazone/index.html. We advise that you look at this website when drafting your project proposal. Note that the NBC does not fund work on species that are only threatened at the national level, and, only rarely funds projects on the globally threatened subspecies of birds that are not threatened at the species level.
- Site-based projects must focus on the conservation of either a) an Important Bird Area (IBA), or an area proposed as an IBA or recently found to qualify for designation as an IBA; or b) a site within an Endemic Bird Area (EBA) holding habitats that are important to the restricted-range bird species that define the EBA; or c) a protected or potentially protected area that holds or is expected to hold Threatened or Near Threatened bird species. For information on IBAs and EBAs and how they are designated, see www.birdlife.org/datazone/index.html.
If you have further enquiries please contact Rob Clay or Chris Sharpe via NBCawards@gmail.com